Saturday, May 2, 2009

Doulas and Dads

Many dads-to-be worry that a doula will replace them at the birth. A father may worry that his partner doesn’t trust him enough to be a support for her during labor. He may also be concerned that a doula’s presence at the birth will remove the intimacy of the moment.

But a doula can never replace the father’s role, which is to be there to love and support his partner. Plus, he also experiences the birth of the child, in his own way. As far as the doula interfering with the intimacy of the moment, the doula is only one member of the birth team, which includes nurses, a doctor or midwife, and sometimes other specialists. In fact, a doula can often help create that intimate feel by helping shoo the nurses or doctors out of the room for a moment, so the about-to-be-new-parents can be alone for awhile.

A doula is there to help the father, as much as she helps the mother. The fact of the matter is, our society places a great deal of pressure and responsibility on the father-to-be during labor. A childbirth class isn’t enough to prepare a new, nervous dad to support his wife through what may be one of the most difficult and challenging moments in her life. Is it fair to expect the father to remain 100% focused and calm, when his wife is struggling?

A doula can help support the father, so he can concentrate on his wife.

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